When I first started thinking about a square living room, I had to come up with a room size. I thought a 16×16 foot room did not seem too out of the ordinary, and a person with a 16×18 foot living room, or longer could take my ideas and modify them to fit their space.
To see what a 16×16 foot space looked like, I took four pieces of computer printer paper and taped them together to form a 16×16 inch square (one square inch equals one square foot). After that I marked off one inch intervals, horizontally and vertically along the outside edges of the paper and with a pencil and ruler ran lines from one side of the paper to the other to form a grid of one inch squares (see the background of the cover illustration for this post).
Next I looked at a number of furniture catalogs and saw that the majority of sofas are 84 inches long (7 feet), give or take a few inches, and 36 inches wide (3 feet), give or take a few inches. Knowing those measurements I cut out two 3 inches x 7 inches pieces of paper to represent two 3 foot by 7 foot sofas (one inch = one foot). After that I made six paper templates 3 inches x 3 inches to represent upholstered chairs. Most upholstered chairs that are not on steroids are 36×36 inches square, give or take a few inches here or there. Finally I looked at the measurements of small-sized upholstered benches, they were 24 inches square, give or take a few inches, so I made 2 inch by 2 inch templates to represent them.
After measuring, cutting out and making my furniture representing shapes, I started laying them out on the 16×16 inch grid. I thought about making groupings for conversation, how each piece of furniture in the room would be spaced, and traffic patterns going into the room.
When laying out the furniture shapes I thought about some of my past posts. Arranging Living Room Furniture so Sofas talk to Chairs, Like the Pros do was the first thing that came to mind. Arranging Furniture around a Fireplace in the Corner of a Room, came to mind second, and Arranging Furniture TWELVE different ways in the Same Room was third. Putting all those posts into action I came up with the next 11 possible ways to arrange furniture in a square room. Illustration 1 shows how the main three cushion sofa in this room is flanked by another three cushion sofa, and that sofa is counterbalanced by a pair of occasional or upholstered chairs placed opposite it. Notice how a square and a round shaped end table are placed alongside the main sofa, and a floor lamp is placed alongside the sofa on the left. In the right corner of the room is a potted tree, but a floor lamp could also be placed there for extra lighting if necessary.
In this illustration and all the others for this post I placed arrows which show how a person can enter the room, and how a traffic pattern might be formed.
Illustration 2 shows how the main sofa is flanked on each side by two pairs of chairs. In this room I put a potted tree behind one of the french doors on the right side of the room. A floor lamp could be placed in the left corner of the room if extra lighting is necessary. The lighting fixture would counterbalance the potted tree opposite it. If there still was not enough lighting in the room, an extra floor lamp could take the place of the potted tree.
Illustration 3 shows the main sofa being flanked by two chairs. This room has two entry ways so two chairs are grouped together on one side of the room, and one chair is placed opposite it. Floor lamps were placed behind the chairs for extra illumination. If and when needed, the three chairs could also be moved up closer to the main seating group to form a larger conversation area.
Illustration 4 is similar to illustration one, but room illustration 4 has two entry ways into it. Illustration 5 shows a room with two entries into it and there is a fireplace. A sofa with end tables along side of it is flanked by two chairs to form the main conversation area. On the other side of the room two chairs with floor lamps behind them have been placed. If needed the two chairs could be moved up closer to the conversation area for group gatherings.
Illustration 6 is similar to grouping / illustration 5, but two upholstered benches have been added to the room. The upholstered benches, being backless and light weight, can easily be moved around the room as needed to provide seating when forming conversation gropings.
Illustration 7 shows two sofas flanking the fireplace with a bench and a chair flanking each sofa. For visual interest, and to mix things up, the two benches and two chairs were placed opposite each other in this room. As with all the illustrations shown so far, notice how there are end tables with lamps placed on them, and floor lamps placed in corners of the rooms so the rooms are properly illuminated.
Illustration 8 has the sofa and conversation area on one side of the room and it is counterbalanced by the TV entertainment center opposite it. Two dining room side chairs and a tea-table are placed in front of the fireplace. The two chairs by the fireplace, and the upholstered bench in the right corner of the room could be repositioned around the sofa to form a larger conversation area as needed.
Illustration 9 shows how a square room with two entry ways can have its furniture set up on a diagonal. The three cushion sofa has a drop leaf table set behind it, and an accent lamp or candlestick lamp or two is placed on it (click on lamps to read posts I’ve written covering them). To counterbalance the sofa, two upholstered chairs with a floor lamp behind them are placed on the other side of the room. Floor lamps in this room took the place of end tables with lamps, as space is limited.
Illustration 10 has two three cushion sofas forming a “V” shape on the far end of the room. A sofa table with lamp is behind one of them, and a Chinese screen is placed behind the other to cut off the room’s corner and fill in the space. Two chairs grouped together on one side of the room counterbalance one sofa, and the single chair with floor lamp counterbalances the other.
Illustration 11 shows how an “L” shaped sectional can possibly be used in this room. Two chairs are floating out in the center of the room to counterbalance the sectional.
Now that I’ve gone over eleven possible ways of arranging furniture in a square room, the number one thing that I want you to take away from this article is that furniture arranging is really the same if your room is square or rectangular, or small, medium or large-sized. If you measure your room’s length and width for feet, then turn those feet into inches and make a graph of squares as I did for this post, you can then make paper templates showing all the furniture you have, or are thinking about buying, and start arranging them on your graph until up come up with an arrangement / grouping that you think will work for you. If your room is anything at all like what I’ve shown here, you will have multiple options to consider. Happy Arranging and Rearranging ;-}
Companion Posts …
When buying Living Room furniture, FORGET the LOVESEAT, buy two Wing, Club or Occasional Chairs instead 10-13-2012,
The Answer to “Can you put a Floor Lamp next to a Sofa?” 10-4-2012,
Interior Decorating is ALL about Equal Balance 2-27-2011,
The Right height of Table Lamp for your End Table 5-19-2011,
Arranging Furniture in a 12 foot wide by 24 foot long Living Room 2-5-2014,
Arranging Furniture in a 15 foot wide by 25 foot long Bedroom 1-24-2016,
Interior Decorating is ALL about Equal Balance 2-27-2011,
Pick (Use) Four colors when Decorating a Room 3-7-2011